I update this page with opportunities for undergraduate research projects. Please contact me directly if you have any questions. More information about undergraduate research in the School of Earth Science is available at this website.
Earthquakes in Ice: Using Seismology to Study the Dynamics of Glaciers and Ice Sheets
The fate of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is the most uncertain part of global sea level rise projections. The dynamics of fast flowing ice in this region are both scientifically fascinating and important for understanding future sea level rise. Seismic data similar to those used to understand tectonic earthquakes may provide new insights into these dynamics. Several projects are possible. (1) Seismographs recorded on the ice in Antarctica may be used to understand the physics at the bed of the ice sheet. In this project, small repeating earthquakes that occur during large-scale sliding will be used to estimate the coefficient of friction at the ice-rock interface. (2) Migrating waves of tidally modulated micro seismicity in Antarctica have been observed but the source of these events is not clear. A recently developed model of a resonating water-filled fracture will be used to analyze such microseismic catalogs to determine if they are due to the movement of fluid at the ice sheet bed. For both projects, prior programming experience in MATLAB or a high-level programming language will be essential, and introductory mechanics is recommended.